11 Dec 2006 pcolijn   » (Journeyer)

[Originally posted Dec. 02, 2006]

On Macs, continued

pphaneuf: I complained about FrontRow and the iTunes album art stuff not because I find their problems incredibly serious flaws of OS X as a whole, but because they are touted by Apple to be great new features, when they are actually decidedly half-baked. The fact that you cannot play DivX with FrontRow makes it pretty useless, IMO. There already is a DVD Player app that works ok, and 99% of your other video media is likely to be DivX. I use MPlayer OS X for playing stuff on Mac, and it too plays most things just fine (except some obscure Windows Media stuff). But it isn't integrated with FrontRow, and as far as I know, there's no way to integrate it with FrontRow, so the whole "Mac as the thing to hook up to your TV" concept is kinda lost on me. It's no better than a Linux or Windows machine for that purpose. It would be if FrontRow actually worked.

The album art thing, fine, it's actually not a trivial problem, and they probably wanted better accuracy than some of the open source programs, whose accuracy is somewhat wanting, as pmccurdy observed. Still, it doesn't download art for a lot of albums that Rhythmbox gets, so, as a newly-hyped feature it's pretty disappointing.

I guess my overall point in noting these two shortcomings was that, as Apple launches go, these two were very weak and left me unimpressed.

And again, it's not that I don't like Macs at all. I think they're great for what they're primarily designed for. My problem is that the design goals of a Mac do not really intersect very much with what I actually usually do with a computer, so they're not very good for me.

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